The Perfect Labor Storm has landed! Five generations in the workplace, aging workers, retiring baby boomers, shortages of skilled workers, generational gaps, an accelerating pace of technological advancement, automation – these are just a few of the disruptive events that are converging to produce structural changes in the workplace, community and global nations.
Just as in the movie namesake, several seemingly innocuous weather events collided off the Atlantic coast in the spring of 1991 to produce one of the most powerful weather storms on record (“The Perfect Storm”). Just a decade later, changes in world economics and demographics began to collide and gave birth to disruptive force called “The Perfect Labor Storm”. While shortages of skilled workers and an aging population were predicted more than 25 years ago, few people could have forecast the impact that technology, globalization, and a Great Recession would have on recruitment, retention, and employment.
Many managers and business owners and even economists and strategists are hoping for a break in the socio-economic “climate” and praying this storm too will pass. Human resource professionals, executives, and managers alike wrongly believe they are the isolated targets of some insidious plot to abscond with their workers or fell they are just magnets for under-skilled workers with poor work ethics. Not unlike the Andrea Gail which was sucked under by the colossal waves even two days before the full force of the storm hit, businesses too will sink with this short-sighted, wait-and-see attitude.
The Perfect Labor Storm has no industry, sovereign, or geographic boundaries. From plumbers to dental hygienists to teachers to truck drivers to physicians and accountants, virtually every industry at nearly every level is affected by shortages of workers with the right skills and attitudes to do all the jobs.
For more than a decade this website has become a resource for human resource professionals, executives, managers, students, academics, and researchers. It includes hundreds and hundreds of facts and reasons why The Perfect Labor Storm will not allow worker shortages to go away for a long, long time. Moving forward we plan to continue the discussion, incite some conversation, and collaborate with our readers to forge new solutions.
The Perfect Labor Storm (as well as When the SHIFT Hits Your Plan) makes a great keynote address for Chambers of Commerce and other business meetings as well as corporate events. To schedule Ira S. Wolfe to address your next meeting or convention or to schedule interviews, click here.
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